Patoka Sportsman 5-22-21

Patoka Sportsman 5-22 & 5-23-21

Anyone interested in becoming an Indiana Conservation Officer is encouraged to attend a recruiting event that DNR Law Enforcement’s District 7 will host on Monday, May 24, at district headquarters in Winslow. The event will begin at 6:30 p.m. The address is 2310 E State Road 364. District 7 includes Knox, Daviess, Martin, Gibson, Pike, Dubois, Posey Vanderburgh, Warrick and Spencer counties. The event will cover critical portions of the 2021 Indiana Conservation Officer hiring process, including duties of a conservation officer/hiring process, preparation for the written exam, preparation for core values training, and physical agility testing requirements. Participation in the recruiting event does not guarantee you a position but should provide insight into the competitive hiring process. To see if you qualify to be an Indiana Conservation Officer and to complete the pre-screen exam, see and click on Become a Conservation Officer. Questions regarding the District 7 recruiting events should be directed to Cpl. Joe Haywood at 812-890-6604.

Patoka Lake will host its annual kids fishing derby on Saturday, June 5 at the Osborn Ramp from 9 to 11:30 a.m. The event is for children 12 years old and younger, and participants must be accompanied by an adult. Families must supply their own tackle, fishing pole, and bait. An awards ceremony will take place at 11 a.m. For more information regarding this program or other interpretive events, call the Nature Center at 812-685-2447.

The Indiana Statehouse recognized the graduation of nine K-9 teams that completed the DNR Division of Law Enforcement’s K-9 Resource Protection program. In addition to the one team that will serve in the Hoosier state, the graduating class included units from Kansas, Missouri, Utah and Virginia that traveled to Indiana to train and hone their skills in Orange County to qualify for today’s ceremony.

Indiana’s K-9 program started in 1997 with a pilot program of two teams. Because of its effectiveness, the program grew to a team of 13 K-9 units throughout the state. At least one K-9 unit serves in each of the 10 Indiana DNR Law Enforcement districts.

The Indiana K-9 program is not only well respected in the Hoosier state, but also recognized as one of the top programs in the nation. In addition to the states represented in today’s graduation, Indiana has also helped start and train teams from natural resource agencies in Idaho, Kentucky, Maryland, and Oregon.

The Indiana K-9 program trains teams that serve in Indiana in man-tracking, wildlife detection and article searches. All canines are trained to locate white-tailed deer, wild turkey, waterfowl and ginseng. They may also be trained to locate other species, depending on where in Indiana the handler is stationed. Indiana teams excel in man-tracking and locating firearms.

K-9 teams provide the officers in their districts another tool to help stop poaching. In the past 24 years, Indiana K-9 teams have been involved in more than 7,500 such cases. K-9 teams have been used to find hidden game and guns, as well as to find shell casings in road hunting and spotlighting cases. K-9 teams are used to find lost hunters as well as poachers who have tried to hide from officers. Because of their unique abilities, K-9 units are often requested by other state and local law enforcement agencies for help in locating evidence and in locating missing persons or fleeing felons.

Indiana paddlers have an opportunity to observe wildlife while enjoying Indiana’s water resources. DNR would like more information about the wildlife that spend time around Indiana’s waterways and is asking paddlers for help. Volunteer paddlers will document wildlife they observe while floating, from June 1 to July 31, by completing paddling trip postcards. Volunteers will be mailed a packet upon sign-up. The information paddlers collect allows wildlife managers to estimate changes in key wildlife populations more accurately over time.

The Full Moon 5K Run/Walk will be held Friday, July 23 at Patoka Lake beginning at 9:30 PM. The race course will be lit by moonlight and luminaries. All proceeds from this event will benefit Patoka's non-releasable birds of prey; a bald eagle, eastern screech owl and red-tailed hawk. Register online at Entry fee until June 30 is $25. Entry fee on site or after June 30 is $35. Participants registering before July 1 will receive a race shirt. Chip timing by Crossroads Events.

May is a wonderful time to go fishing – almost every kind of fish is biting across Indiana. It’s a great time to try to hook panfish like bluegill, redear sunfish, and crappie. Crappie have already begun moving into shallower waters to deposit eggs (spawn). Once the water temperature reaches 65 degrees, bluegill and redear sunfish will also spawn and feed in the shallows while defending their nests. Target weedy edges, sunken logs, standing timber, brush piles, and docks for these tasty fish.

Chartreuse (bright yellow-green) or white curly-tailed soft plastic grubs and inline spinners are great lures for panfish. These fish also have a hard time resisting a wiggly red worm or bee moth larvae on a size 8 hook. Find other fishing tips on our website. Check out our Instagram to learn more about how biologists are studying crappie (see the Research highlight).

Anglers can target bass near their spawning beds in shallow areas as water temperatures near 65 degrees. Use soft plastic worms (with or without a bullet-shaped weight) and soft plastic stick baits to entice these fighting fish. Cast a spinner bait if bass are active near the surface.

In early May, especially in northern Indiana or if the weather has been cool, wait until late afternoon or evening to go fishing. This allows the daytime heat to warm the waters and get sluggish fish more active and willing to bite. Later in May, after a stretch of warm sunny days, the best times to fish are early morning, late afternoon, and even nighttime (especially for bass).

With nearly 200 different fish species swimming Indiana waters, it’s not unusual to occasionally land a fish and have no idea what it is. Don’t be left wondering anymore; take a quick photo and send it to [email protected] along with the name of the water body and location you caught it (closest bridge, address, or other landmark). A biologist will help identify your fish. Fish identification questions help anglers learn more about the fish at their favorite fishing spot and may also provide valuable information on the distribution of some of the state’s rarest species.

May is the beginning of nesting season for many of Indiana’s turtle species, including the Eastern box turtle (pictured above). Keep an eye out for turtles along roadways – if you see one and it’s safe to stop, you can help the turtle cross the road by moving it in the direction it was heading. Help keep wildlife wild; don’t take it home. Give these turtles a chance to contribute to the next generation.

If you find an injured turtle, you can contact a permitted wildlife rehabilitator for help. Remember: All native reptile eggs are protected and cannot be taken from the wild. The shell or any other part of a box turtle is included in the protection of these animals.

Brood X cicadas will begin to emerge within the next few weeks. Currently, there are 12 different broods of 17-year periodical cicadas consisting of three different species. Each brood is designated by a Roman numeral. This is the year of Brood X. Brood X covers 15 states. Indiana is also home to two annual cicada species that emerge May through August and peak in July. Brood X nymphs will emerge when the soil temperatures about 8 inches underground reach 65 degrees. A warm rain will often proceed large-scale emergence. More information on cicadas is at